Could flight cancellations nightmare be the end of European timeshare?

Inflexible

Timeshare owners have been watching regular holidaymakers with envy for the last 2 years.

With the challenges of the pandemic, travellers have needed flexibility with cancellations and vacation rescheduling. Regular hotels and booking sites have stepped up and accommodated those needs.

Timeshare resorts have not. They have charged in full whether the client got their holiday or not, offering unrealistic solutions in what was widely seen as a cash grab. Timeshare was reportedly the only travel business to actually increase profits during the pandemic, and all at the expense of the struggling consumer.

Further pressure

In 2022, the pandemic is no longer preventing mass travel, but it’s effects are lingering on. Many airport staff who were laid off or furloughed sought other work, the airlines did not begin to replace them until the prospects for travel reopening were clear.

Replacing staff is proving to be challenging as there is a long security approval process for anyone working in an airport. Airlines are working frantically behind the scenes, juggling staff rotas and trying to pull together enough crew for every flight. The situation is so ‘touch and go’ that right up until the last moment they often don’t know whether or not they will be able to fly.

Tens of thousands of times already airlines have failed to garner enough staff, and whole plane loads of families have been told “you are not going to be able to fly,” just moments before they were due to board their flight.

Nightmare

With all of the planning that goes into a family holiday, being turned away just before take-off is a disaster. People heading to a wedding, or other important event that they will now miss are not just disappointed, they are also out of pocket. There are costs to a holiday which they now must fight to save, including car hire and airport transfers.

Luckily airlines, hotels, and sites like Booking.com etc are generally understanding when it comes to accommodating refunds or rescheduling of holidays. Timeshare resorts show no such consideration. The exchange systems are dated, rigid and very seldom work. There is no provision for a timeshare owner with last minute cancellation to exchange or get a refund. That money is gone.

Final blow?

Timeshare owners have had a rough ride since the industry stagnated in the early 2000s. The rest of the holiday business has become more flexible and easier to guarantee the standards people want. Timeshare owners are now stuck paying huge annual fees for resorts whose standards are dropping, and many of them feel trapped.

With the fresh flight crisis looming over the 2022 summer, many timeshare owners are at the end of their patience.

“People are seeking ways out of their memberships,” says Daniel Keating, Information Officer for the Timeshare Consumer Association (TCA). “Up until now, many owners have defended their position for the same reasons many of us do. It’s easier than facing up to what they might later feel was a mistake. The truth is that plenty of intelligent people bought timeshare. It was a smart thing to do back at the turn of the century because it was the only way to guarantee high standards, and the resorts were exclusive.

“The resorts have been gradually failing to live up to their side of the bargain. Hardly any of them are exclusive any more and they can be booked by non members.

“If you are a timeshare owner who wants advice on timeshare related issues, contact our team for free, confidential advice.”

Timeshare Consumer Association. Contact us on: T: 01908881058 (ask for Daniel), E: enquiries@timeshareadvice.org (Address to Daniel).

WhatsApp (message only) +447586871055

TCA provides a central resource of consumer information on timeshare matters for the media and other organisations — We work towards encouraging responsible, honest, timeshare operators. We also publicly expose negative consumer practices and organisations which operate in a manner detrimental to timeshare buyers and owners.

An important part of our mission is to lobby UK and European Governments and regulatory bodies for improved consumer protection in the timeshare environment and collect information on frauds and mis-selling, for action by enforcement authorities.

We are staffed by former and current timeshare owners, as well as former timeshare industry staff. We know our way around the timeshare business

Timeshare Consumer Association Newsdesk here

Timeshare Consumer Association on YouTube here

Timeshare Consumer Association on Facebook here

Timeshare Consumer Association on Medium here

Timeshare Consumer Association on LinkedIn here

Timeshare Consumer Association on Quora here

Timeshare Consumer Association website here

We are a proud member of the UK Small Charities Coalition

First published on MyNewsDesk July 2022

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Timeshare Consumer Association

Timeshare Consumer Association

Friendly, impartial advice from timeshare experts: owners, ex timeshare owners, even ex timeshare industry insiders